Chicago Mayor Surrenders to Mob Over Columbus Statues

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Posted: Jul 24, 2020 8:41 AM
Chicago Mayor Surrenders to Mob Over Columbus Statues

Source: Santiago Covarrubias/Sun Times via AP

Two statues of Christopher Columbus fell victim to the cancel culture mob sweeping America early Friday morning after Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered their removal, wrongly believing it would ease tensions in the city.

"This action was taken after consultation with various stakeholders,” her office said in a statement. “It comes in response to demonstrations that became unsafe for both protesters and police, as well as efforts by individuals to independently pull the Grant Park statue down in an extremely dangerous manner. This step is about an effort to protect public safety and to preserve a safe space for an inclusive and democratic public dialogue about our city's symbols. In addition, our public safety resources must be concentrated where they are most needed throughout the city, and particularly in our South and West Side communities."

The Grant Park statue came down at 3 a.m. and the Columbus statue in Arrigo Park was removed hours later.

George Washington law professor Jonathan Turley called the move an "act of surrender" solving absolutely nothing.

My concern is that this was an act that confirmed that rioting and violence can prevail. In the end, it was not the statue but the rule of law that was at issue in Grant Park. Both were lost in the dead of night.

As on so many other unilateral decisions by mayors, the action was taken without pre-warning and in the middle of the night. The concealment of the operation befitted the character of the decision. [...]

This is why an Antifa leader recently declared “we are winning.”  It is because politicians like Speaker Nancy Pelosi have shrugged off the destruction of statutes in declaring “people will do what they do.”  Now, Mayor Lightfoot is saving them the trouble of toppling statutes. She will do it for them in a plea for peace. (Jonathan Turley)

Last week, the Grant Park statue was the scene of a tense confrontation between demonstrators and police, approximately 18 of whom were injured.

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Ordering the removal of the statues also marks a reversal of Lightfoot's previous belief that taking them down would be erasing history.